The Philadelphia region contains some of the oldest structures and properties in the entire country. And of course, the older something is, the more time it's had to become haunted.
The guide below includes some of the best-haunted options in the southeastern part of the state, ranging from Philadelphia to Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Delaware counties.
22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia
A landmark in Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood just blocks from the Art Museum, the castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary is an ancient city prison turned tourist site. For the 26th straight fall, the former prison hosts its annual Terror Behind the Walls Halloween tour. Though daily historical prison visits occur all year, the Halloween special features after-dark walks through a haunted, ghoulish, and occasionally jarring prison. Some family-friendly days exist, but most tours aren't recommended for children under 7. Parking can be dicey in the Fairmount neighborhood, and the attraction will become quite crowded as October goes on. Try to get there earlier in the month.
1835 Middletown Road, Glen Mills
A true rural Halloween adventure. Bates Motel is buried in the cornfields of Delaware County and features three interactive attractions: a haunted hayride on a tractor bed, a haunted house (where the doorman plays tricks on you), and a cornfield maze riddled with endless dark corners, knife-wielding clowns, and a chainsaw-executioner on the hunt for limbs. Perhaps most importantly, Bates Motel has Cole Hamels' stamp of approval. In September, the Hamels Foundation hosted a carnival fundraiser at Arasapha Farm, the location of Bates Motel. Children are welcome; children under 2 can enter for free. 2017 Dates: Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 6-31 (Sunday to Wednesday 6:30 to 9:30, Thursday to Saturday 6:30 to 10:30).
100 Commonwealth Drive, Spring City
Pennhurst is the only haunted attraction where the walk to the house might be more frightening than the house itself. After navigating dark country roads and parking in a grass field, visitors must walk down a dark and wooded lane to approach the gates of the abandoned asylum. Once a working, state-run hospital and rehabilitation clinic, the asylum closed in 1987 after years of scrutiny for rumors controversial methods. These "rumors" are a reality come October when visitors can tour ramshackle, decaying shops of horrors. After the "haunted" portion of the tour is complete, there is a chance to walk through historical exhibits outlining the past of the property and modern efforts to preserve it. 2017 dates: Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, Nov. 3, 4.
2200 S. Swanson Street, Philadelphia
Three haunted attractions in one, the Fright Factory, located near Penn's Landing, offers a spooky look into a chemical factory, asylum, cemetery, and so they say, even your mind. Similar to Terror Behind the Walls in exploring abandoned relics of Philadelphia, Fright Factory advises young children to pass up this adventure. It was featured on the Travel Channel. 2017 dates: Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and Nov. 3, 4.
301 W. Bristol Road, Feasterville
Four separate attractions highlight this distinctive Halloween favorite. While it may be best known for its hayride, Valley of Fear also offers a haunted tour through "The Facility," an escape the room type adventure with "Operation Z Escape," and a haunted "Scarytales" forest walk. As one Yelp reviewer noted; "I would never miss the Valley of Fear on Halloween. I understand that Halloween events are supposed to be “Scary,” but honestly, if it’s too frightening I really don’t enjoy myself. This event is just scary enough that it doesn’t ruin the fun for those who don’t like to be SUPER scared.” 2017 dates: Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 6-8, 13-15, 19-22, 26-29, and Nov. 3-4.
325 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
Philadelphia is brimming over with haunted history, including numerous centuries-old historic buildings, haunted movie sets including The Sixth Sense, and the home of one of the original, and greatest, horror writers of all time: Edgar Allan Poe. Billed as "one part history, two parts haunt," this ghost tour weaves through Old City Philadelphia and debunks - or propagates - numerous colonial-era myths. Spooky features include stops at cemeteries, an Edgar Allen Poe haunt, and Pine Street tours to visit the infamous local witch. The after-dark walk is fine for children.
3014 Bristol Road, Warrington
Winding Brook is located on a fourth-generation dairy farm in the heart of Bucks County. The property and its numerous buildings have no shortage of history; the farm has been active for 115 years. Visitors can choose to experience one of three, or all three, main haunted attractions: a hayride, cornfield walk of horror, or a haunted hay maze. 2017 dates: Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., all Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October, during the same times.
757 Spring Mount Road, Spring Mount
Located near Montgomery County's ski resort, Spring Mountain, Scream Mountain takes visitors on a haunted hayride through those same hallowed hills. A "chilling chairlift" ride and hike along a dimly-lit trail offer a second option. For those not ready for the full blast of horror, a "starter" haunted hay ride is offered as well. 2017 dates: Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28.